If I signed a medical release form, can I get further treatment?
I had just signed a medical release form thinking that I had felt better after being treated for injuries. Lately my neck and shoulder had started hurting again and I realized I had not fully recovered like I had thought.
Because I signed the medical release form, does this mean I can no longer seek treatment? Is there a way to re-open the case? Is there anything I can do to get treatment for these injuries? Thank you for any information you can give.
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ANSWER for "If I signed a medical release form, can I get further treatment?":
Kristopher (Weirton, WV):
Unfortunately, if you signed a medical release with the insurance company and/or negotiated their check, you likely do not have a legal right to reopen your injury claim. HOWEVER, if you are able to prove the insurance company defrauded you, then the claim may be reopened.
For example, if your medical bills amounted to $25,000, and the insurance company told you their insured only had $15,000 in liability insurance, then based on that premise you accepted the $15,000. Then, you later learned the insurance company misrepresented the amount of coverage their insured carried (in fact their insured carried $25,000), then you would have a legal basis for reopening the injury claim.
If that is the case, you may be entitled to not only the $25,000, but you may also have the basis of a lawsuit against the insurance company for Bad Faith dealings.
If you succeed in a bad faith lawsuit against the insurance company, you may be entitled to Punitive Damages from a jury. Punitive damages can be substantially higher than a normal court verdict. The amount of compensation ordered by a jury against an insurance company which defrauded a legitimately injured victim can be tens of thousands of dollars more than the original amount the victim asked for.
If you have any proof of fraud, or you believe you have been defrauded by the insurance company, seek the advice and counsel of a local personal injury attorney. Most personal injury attorneys do not charge for initial office consultations.
If you find a personal injury attorney who will accept your case, the attorney will do so on a contingency fee basis. This means if the attorney succeeds in your case you will owe him or her an amount between 33.3% and 40% of the settlement or court verdict. However, if your attorney fails to settle the case or win it in court, you will owe the attorney nothing.
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.
Best of luck,
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